Whale Whale what do we have here?

If there’s one thing I’d recommend more than anything people do when visiting Tasmania, it’s a Pennicott Wilderness Journey. Having previously been on the Bruny Island version of their boat trips, I was excited to see what their Tasman Island edition would be like. Gemma had previously mentioned that she’d never been on one, so I thought what better way to finish off an awesome weekend and celebrate her birthday.

We had to be down at their Hobart waterfront HQ by 7:30am and enjoyed a leisurely stroll down on what was a beautiful Sunday morning. We boarded the bus with a bunch of eager customers and made our way towards Port Arthur and the start of the boat trip at the rather lovely Stewarts Bay Lodge. After a quick shuffling around of people who were going off on various tours, we were making our way down to the water’s edge to board our chariots for the day. The Pennicott vessels are military grade pieces of hardware and feel as such. These things can take an absolute pounding but thankfully it was a calm day and we would be spared any major jolting (although that’s kinda fun so booooooo haha).

What followed over the next few hours was nothing short of truly epic. Humongous sea cliffs (the highest in the Southern hemisphere no less), fascinating wildlife straight out of an Attenborough documentary and fascinating stories both at sea and in the lands looming above.

Waiting to set off from the Hobart Waterfront. These boats are the Ironpot Lighthouse vessels where seafood delicacies are served on much calmer seas.
All ready to set off in our fetching red splash jackets, kindly provided on board.
Cormorants chilling……on their own poop.
So used to seagulls pestering tourists in urban seaside environments that you forget they must roost somewhere more wild.
Left or Right?
A Sea Eagle nest high in the trees near Port Arthur.
The spectacular Crescent Bay beach looks pretty good from the water too. 
Our main target for the day, Tasman Island. Can you spot the lighthouse?
This was only a little cliff, they only got higher and higher.
Please don’t collapse, please don’t collapse, please don’t collapse.
Whale hello there!
Cape Raoul + Humpback Whale = epic
A Humpback whale swimming past the entrance to Port Arthur
A Shy Albatross being anything but. I remember watching nature documentaries as kids and being fascinated by these huge majestic birds.
Going in.
The view inside one of the many sea caves on the Tasman peninsula. Looks calm now but you can only imagine the ferocity of water that carved this out in the first place.
The patterning on the rocks on the left is from intense wave action that reaches the very top and then ricochets off into the rocks on the left giving them a smoother face. This is wild wild ocean.
An example of the power of the ocean can be seen in this blowhole. It was hitting a good 15 meters high but can go much higher in big swells.
Cape Pillar, the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a long way up…..or down, depending on your viewpoint.
A flock of seagulls flies out of the entrance to a cave at the base of Cape Pillar.
They look like they’re flying over the top of the cliff but they’re actually nowhere near the top, it’s that high! 
Cape Pillar on the left, Tasman Island on the right.
Absolutely stunning geology. 
How does one get on to Tasman Island? Well nowadays they use helicopters to transport maintenance workers to fix the lighthouse or make sure the eradicated feral cats are staying that way. This terrifying looking device is how they used to get there. A basket would be lowered from that gantry, you would get in said basket and then be hoisted up onto the platform. Imagine doing THAT in rough seas.
Loved this scene of cormorants on a rock, like something out of an oriental painting.
Returning to base, very happy, very relaxed and very grateful.

As if all the above wasn’t epic enough, we still had a bit more sightseeing to do, on land. We visited Port Arthur Lavender farm, which I had visited before on an Instameet you can read about here. The lavender was growing nicely this time around and the cafe has some delicious looking treats. Next, we took a trip to Federation Chocolate where you can watch them make their yummy chocolate completely by hand. We finished the day with a quick stop at Remarkable Cave which was rather inundated with water this time around.

Love this space at Port Arthur Lavender farm. 
Bees happily flitting back and forth on the pretty lavender. 
Maurice Curtis pouring another batch of hand made chocolate. We just wanted to stick our faces into the rotating disk of chocolate behind him 🙂
Water flowing right through Remarkable Cave. We were able to walk almost through to the other side the first time we visited on our way to Crescent Bay.
These surfers just couldn’t catch a break and we had to get back on the bus before we had a chance to see them in action.

Well there you have it. Four wonderful days exploring some of Tasmania’s best sights. You can read about the previous three days here. I say this almost every blog post but this little island is something else. There’s just so much to see and so much variety in the scenery for such a small place. Add to that, the delectable delights being produced by talented people all over the State and you have a pretty damn good combo.

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